professional repair - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-18-2009, 01:54 PM   #1
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Name: Cyndi
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I am picking up my trailer today and i am floored at how much it cost. a little over 900$ It is my own fault for going without a firm estimate. BUT, when he said that he couldn't give an estimate b/c it was retrofitting i understood that. (it once took me a 1/2 hour to get a screw out) I had the lock, lock plate, and license plate holder replaced. All same for same so i didn't expect much labor on those. the doors i had scamp hinges put in. I expected work on those, but figured that they are pro's, have the shop, and all the tools so it wouldn't be insane. stupid stupid stupid me. i wonder how on earth this could have came to 8 plus hours labor??? I can see it taking ME 8 hours, but not pros. I thought it would be between 3-500, 500 being the really really high end. i could handle that mentally b/c it would be DONE. NO MORE WORK. Anyway, live and learn. i phoned another shop, they said expect 3- 3 1/2 hours at 105 p/h. That sounds normal to me. Has anyone replaced hinges with scamp hinges. how many hours did it take? I'd really like to know. i have been working hard on naming the trailer. Best I've come up with so far is 'eggcentric' or something with it in the name. i am now considering 'EGGSPENSIVE!" How about " A little eggcentric and VERY eggspensive' i don't want to attract thieves though.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:56 PM   #2
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Since the Scamp hinges have three holes vs. the Boler's two (and I don't think any of them line up anyway), did the repair shop re-gelcoat after they filled in the old holes? What did they do on the inside? Did they add backing plates?

Raya
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:35 PM   #3
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Since the Scamp hinges have three holes vs. the Boler's two (and I don't think any of them line up anyway), did the repair shop re-gelcoat after they filled in the old holes? What did they do on the inside? Did they add backing plates?

Raya
i am just picking it up now. i made backing plates myself. i hope they used them. not sure about the gelcoat over holes
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
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I think you should find yourself another handy person. there are plenty of capable people that work out of their garages for $25 per hr. cash. just ask around a little and they will surface. they usually do the job as good or better. the only time I've had to pay pro-shop rates was for the new propane lines... and I'd rather a pro did them just for my own peace of mind.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:01 PM   #5
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Cyndi,

If you care to post photos, I'd be interested to see what they've done. I mentioned the gelcoat specifically because it's one of those art + science type of repairs that always ends up taking longer than I thought it would. Of course that then adds up when you're paying someone by the hour (did they itemize the bill so you can see just what took the time?)

I'm not saying the charge was fair, but on the other hand, I can see where it might have been, depending on how things went. If each part decided to be stubborn, if they did a nice job filling the old holes and then blending new gelcoat, and if... etc. etc. I could potentially see it being fair. On the other hand, maybe they horribly overcharged. It would be nice to know.

I am sorry it cost more than you expected; that's never fun.

Raya
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:18 PM   #6
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Cyndi,

If you care to post photos, I'd be interested to see what they've done. I mentioned the gelcoat specifically because it's one of those art + science type of repairs that always ends up taking longer than I thought it would. Of course that then adds up when you're paying someone by the hour (did they itemize the bill so you can see just what took the time?)

I'm not saying the charge was fair, but on the other hand, I can see where it might have been, depending on how things went. If each part decided to be stubborn, if they did a nice job filling the old holes and then blending new gelcoat, and if... etc. etc. I could potentially see it being fair. On the other hand, maybe they horribly overcharged. It would be nice to know.

I am sorry it cost more than you expected; that's never fun.

Raya
we had a 20 minute 'discussion' yesterday regarding it. it turns out the simple licence plate same for same replacement became a wiring job b/c of no power and a broken ground. they also did something to the propane line, not sure what, i was too focused on the unwanted electrical work. I'm grateful that they were dilligent in the work, but totally unimpressed that they took 3 specific tasks and turned it into a general tune-up. i'm all for work needing to be done that needs to be done and paying for it but the doing it with out asking was unprofessional to me. i would have liked the choice to do the electrical myself. anyway, what's done is done. live and learn. from now on whenever i take anything to the mechanic i will write on the work order 'i dont pay for what i dont authorize' i dont have the time or enegy for any more with them, i'll just pay the bill and never go back. i dont like that way of doing things. even a call saying that they could do it but it would take 6 hours would have made a huge difference. my mechanic always calls me, i guess i am used to it and expected it. all i asked for was door hinge, lock, and, licence plate holder replacement. I do understand that things in these trailers can be way more difficult than anticipated. if i didnt i'd refuse to pay. it's the lack of communication and attitude i got when i expressed that i wasnt impressed wiith their way of doing bussiness that did it for me. Oh well, it's done now. little miss eggspensive. that's it's name now. i still want to get eggcentric in there somehow. hmmmm i guess if it's factored over a lifetime it's all irrelevent. i'm glad just to have such a cute little trailer. it looks fabulous now too. AND IT LOCKS NOW! Well, fingers crossed, i havent picked it up yet. In a few hours. i dont plan on ever selling it, and will most likely do a stint or two of living in it during my lifetime so it's all good.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:40 PM   #7
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Cyndi,

I understand. I had that happen recently with a car shop, and I was NOT a happy camper. Hellooo! I have a cell phone. Just call me!

I think your Boler is cool beyond belief; I would love to have found one of those crazy yellow/gold ones!

Raya
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:09 AM   #8
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Cyndi,

I understand. I had that happen recently with a car shop, and I was NOT a happy camper. Hellooo! I have a cell phone. Just call me!

I think your Boler is cool beyond belief; I would love to have found one of those crazy yellow/gold ones!

Raya
i'm a idiot. i rushed in before closing and paid before looking at it. ( i was lulled in by 100$ off) that's my life, rush rush rush. The reason I'm in this spot to begin with. i wanted to get it done before school starts again. The fabulous escape trailers could have done it the fall, but nooooooo, i had to get it done now. ok i will give myself some credit. who could have expected that from a pro shop. ( am i still seriously naive???) anyway. Positive side. The lock is in correctly and undamaged. the rear running lights have power (Still- i would have liked to do that job myself) He didnt use the exact duplicate striker plate i had made to replace my broken one, said it didnt fit. I wonder how that could be since i had it made and tested it myself. Instead he made a flat peice of metal and attached it with a bolt! i asked him why he used a bolt and not a rivet, he said why when a bolt was working. Honestly the guy was incredible. THE HOLES- Oh god. He filled them with silicone or something like that AND HE DIDNT EVEN SMOOTH IT OUT! I have gobs of silicone to remove now. i also had to remove all the black weather stripping he put over to close the gap. I hate black weather stripping, that's why i removed it all. I made metal plates to support the new hinges and he only used them on the door. when i asked why he didnt use them, he said 'why would i do that' i said because i asked you to. I have to re-do my licence plate hoilder b/c he didnt use the parts i supplied him with to fit my special plate cover. Oh, and the worst thing- he ground 2 holes along the frame of the door so it would close better!!!!!!!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE! They have to be filled now. i really couldnt discuss much with him b/c he was obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed. Obviopusly I'm not either or i would have ended up in this spot. I want to leave on sunday for a week. I will have to sit on my hands and not try to fix what he did. I just dont have time. I will get out to escape in the fall. i took pics, just no time to post now. i cant believe he ground holes in the door frame. wow. I cant believe i paid for it. it does lock though. I'll give him that. I just got the distinct feeling that he did not see anything wrong with his work. hopefully never again. Now i can add fiberglass repair to the list.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:44 AM   #9
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That sounds like an exact repeat of my car repair last fall. I am not kidding. Isn't it so frustrating when not only do they totally screw up, but you know there is no sense in having them address the problems, because they are so clueless and stupid and ham-fisted that you just have to get your car/trailer AWAY from them.

In my case I brought my car in just to get an estimate/inspection.

They found a tiny hole in the floor where an air-conditioner condensate drain had obviously backed up at some point in the past. Without calling me (I was sitting at work just waiting for them to call, completely available), the CUT A HUGE, GAPING square out of the flloor, and just threw in a big blob of fiberglass and stinky, polyester resin. My car reeked! When I complained, they said "Oh, you must smell that at work anyway."

At first I had the idea they should fix it. That was a mistake, and I won't bore you with the details, but in the end I had to rescue my car and bring it home (sitting on an inverted 5-gallon bucket, mind you, as the repair was under the seat which was out). Then I spent DAYS digging fiberglass resin off the floor and using a heat gun and chisel to get off the resin soaked sound-deadening material (well of course they had let it run all over the top of the sound deadening - why would you mask that off?), repairing it correctly, and generally stressing as I was VERY busy at the time. I still have the burn scars to show for it.

In the end, when I was talking to them about it, they threatened to sue ME for being a nuisance. Snort! Yeah, right.

I just walked away and decided to never speak to them or deal with them again. I was NOT going to let them touch my car again.

The worst thing is I had had a bad gut feeling about them but had gone ahead due to a combination of trying to get a car ready for a friend in need, and not really having a good alternative shop within 500 miles.

Man, that sucked. And boy do I feel for you. But you're right, there is NO reason to even try to have that joker "fix it right." Maybe you could take it up with the BBB or something, but then you have your time to consider, so you might just choose to walk away, fix it right, and try to forget about him.

On second thought, did you pay by check or credit card? If so, I would consider either cancelling the check, or filing a complaint with your credit card company. It would suck less if you got your money back.

Boy that is maddening, and I'm so sorry it happened.

Raya

PS: If you do decide to work on the fiberglass yourself, we can help you with some how-tos
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:43 AM   #10
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Name: Cyndi
Trailer: 1976 Boler 13 ft
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Quote:
That sounds like an exact repeat of my car repair last fall. I am not kidding. Isn't it so frustrating when not only do they totally screw up, but you know there is no sense in having them address the problems, because they are so clueless and stupid and ham-fisted that you just have to get your car/trailer AWAY from them.

In my case I brought my car in just to get an estimate/inspection.

They found a tiny hole in the floor where an air-conditioner condensate drain had obviously backed up at some point in the past. Without calling me (I was sitting at work just waiting for them to call, completely available), the CUT A HUGE, GAPING square out of the flloor, and just threw in a big blob of fiberglass and stinky, polyester resin. My car reeked! When I complained, they said "Oh, you must smell that at work anyway."

At first I had the idea they should fix it. That was a mistake, and I won't bore you with the details, but in the end I had to rescue my car and bring it home (sitting on an inverted 5-gallon bucket, mind you, as the repair was under the seat which was out). Then I spent DAYS digging fiberglass resin off the floor and using a heat gun and chisel to get off the resin soaked sound-deadening material (well of course they had let it run all over the top of the sound deadening - why would you mask that off?), repairing it correctly, and generally stressing as I was VERY busy at the time. I still have the burn scars to show for it.

In the end, when I was talking to them about it, they threatened to sue ME for being a nuisance. Snort! Yeah, right.

I just walked away and decided to never speak to them or deal with them again. I was NOT going to let them touch my car again.

The worst thing is I had had a bad gut feeling about them but had gone ahead due to a combination of trying to get a car ready for a friend in need, and not really having a good alternative shop within 500 miles.

Man, that sucked. And boy do I feel for you. But you're right, there is NO reason to even try to have that joker "fix it right." Maybe you could take it up with the BBB or something, but then you have your time to consider, so you might just choose to walk away, fix it right, and try to forget about him.

On second thought, did you pay by check or credit card? If so, I would consider either cancelling the check, or filing a complaint with your credit card company. It would suck less if you got your money back.

Boy that is maddening, and I'm so sorry it happened.

Raya

PS: If you do decide to work on the fiberglass yourself, we can help you with some how-tos
One day we will laugh over this.........? i am laughing thinking of you driving while sitting on a 5 gallon bucket. (sorry ) Live and learn. i couldnt sleep this morning b/c i was so pissed off at the job, and more pissed off at myself for getting into this position. I am smarter than this, really i am. i cant believe they threatened to sue you! that is wild. i am not mentioning the culprits name here just in case of that. i dont know what to do about the fiberglass. i will most likely go to escape b/c school starts soon. That is why i was rushing to begin with, i wont have any time soon. I cant believe your mechanics attitude-you must be used to it. geesh. That is why i paid so fast. (stupid stupid stupid) I almost ran in there to pay them i wanted to get my trailer out of there so fast. Good point you made about trusting your gut. when i dropped it off i laughed aat myself b/c of how much i kept telling them. i think i called them 2x to ensure it was locked and out of the rain. i felt like i was dropping off my firstborn (i dont have kids) i thought it was just b/c it was my baby. Turns out it was my gut all along.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:02 PM   #11
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Yeah, driving my car home sitting on an inverted bucket breathing polyester resin fumes was a low point (when it had been FINE just the day before, and was my "baby"). It does sound kind of funny now though

My brother and his partner have this "scale of negative events" wherein when something happens (like they are stuck on a plane on the Tarmac with no AC and a screaming baby), where they simply turn to each other and discuss: "How long will it be until we are laughing about this in retrospect?" Granted, some things take a bit longer than others....

I felt just like you do. Incredibly pissed at them, and almost equally mad at myself. I actually Google-mapped how long it would take to drive to San Diego and back because my favorite car mechanic is there (I'm on the Atlantic coast!). It's just so violating to have idiots carelessly ruin your favorite things. And then expect you to pay for it. I hope you did pay by check or credit card, and can therefore get some/all money back without investing a lot of time on your part, and WITHOUT going back to that clown.

At least you are alive and okay and you have your egg back in YOUR mitts, not theirs.

Raya
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:09 PM   #12
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My only really big bill was getting the a 3 stage converter put in and wiring in a new battery harness. It was a $450 bill by the time all was said and done (including deep cycle battery). It just wasn't a job I felt comfortable doing though I have had a fair amount of experience with house wiring. I am glad I did, the system has worked flawlessly for 2 years.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:34 PM   #13
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Yeah, driving my car home sitting on an inverted bucket breathing polyester resin fumes was a low point (when it had been FINE just the day before, and was my "baby"). It does sound kind of funny now though

My brother and his partner have this "scale of negative events" wherein when something happens (like they are stuck on a plane on the Tarmac with no AC and a screaming baby), where they simply turn to each other and discuss: "How long will it be until we are laughing about this in retrospect?" Granted, some things take a bit longer than others....

I felt just like you do. Incredibly pissed at them, and almost equally mad at myself. I actually Google-mapped how long it would take to drive to San Diego and back because my favorite car mechanic is there (I'm on the Atlantic coast!). It's just so violating to have idiots carelessly ruin your favorite things. And then expect you to pay for it. I hope you did pay by check or credit card, and can therefore get some/all money back without investing a lot of time on your part, and WITHOUT going back to that clown.

At least you are alive and okay and you have your egg back in YOUR mitts, not theirs.

Raya
i could (in good conscience) get some money back b/c i didnt see the holes ground in the door frame until after i paid but dont want to bother. i'm leaving on a boler trip on sunday and have way too much to do. plus, i just want to be rid of them, move on, as far away and as fast as possible. i know i will get it fixed properly later on. i thought of getting my mechanics licence once just so i wouldnt have to deal with them. my mechanic moved to new zealand. thankfully i have an ok replacement, but never will i have a mechanic that good again.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:59 PM   #14
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Three suggestions:
File a complaint with the Better Busimess Bureau so nobody else has to suffer at their hands.

Photograph all the work they did before you begin your repair so you can document their mess and mistakes.

Small Claims Court!

Best of luck to you. The whole thing really !
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